Carolina Tails - Summer 2014 - Charleston Animal Society

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TAILS Animal Cruelty How You Can Help

Cat DĂŠcor

Is Your Home Up to Snuff?

Aging Gracefully 3 Lessons From Your Dog

Just for Kids: Animal Puzzles!


A Charleston Animal Society Publication

Why I love Charleston Animal Society




Publisher: Keith Simmons Editor in Chief: Holly Fisher Managing Editor: Joe Elmore Managing Editor: Dan Krosse Graphic Design: Heineman Design Advertising Director: Edward Majersky Writer: Helen Ravenel Hammond Writer: Amber Carlton Photography: Reese Moore Distribution Manager: Brenda Fletcher For inquires regarding advertising, distribution or suggestions in Carolina Tails call (843) 352-9048 or

2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406 (843) 747-4849 President: Elizabeth Bradham Vice President: Julie Bresnan Secretary: Perry Jameson, DVM Dip Treasurer: Hilton Smith, III Chief Executive Officer: Joe Elmore

Contents SUMMER 2014




Pet Pointers


Cracking Down: Fighting Animal Cruelty


A Place for Pets


Function Meets Style In Cat Lovers’ Homes


Meet Celebrity Advocate Dave Navarro


Before Hitting the Beach, Know the Dog Rules


Animal Lover: Susan Payne


Ask the Vet


The Gift Of Your Home


Three Things My Senior Dog Has Taught Me About Aging Gracefully


Meet Celebrity Advocate: Martha Stewart


Take Me Home


Time to Play!

Members of the Board Kiara Barnett Mary Black Eugenia Burtchy John Cawley Hal Creel, Esq. Andrea Ferguson Aussie Geer Tara Gerardi Ellen Harley Britton Hawk, Esq. Cynthia Hayes

Johnny Maybank Ann Long Merck Megan Phillips Helen Pratt-Thomas Dean Riegel Bob Rife Elliott Summey Joe Waring Matt Watson, CPA, CVA Jeff Webster Nancy Worsham

Marketing & Media Consultant: Dan Krosse

Content solutions for Charleston Animal Society.

Please contact regarding Carolina Tails distribution, advertising or suggestions. For all other inquiries, please contact Charleston Animal Society. (843) 352-9048 Carolina Tails is published quarterly by Traveler Communications Group, an independent publishing company. PO Box 22677, Charleston, SC 29413 (843 352-9048). Carolina Tails is a registered trademark of Traveler Communications Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher is prohibited.





Welcome Dear Readers, We are thrilled to launch the inaugural issue of Carolina Tails! Our vision for this magazine is to inform, entertain and inspire you, just as you have inspired us with your unwavering support for all the animals in Charleston County. This issue will give you insights into what we face in our fight against animal cruelty, and will describe what type of home décor our felines favor, which county parks Charleston dogs prefer, and how one local couple, Ned and Susan Payne, became cat people, much to their surprise, after visiting our campus! As such, we would like to thank all of the individuals, far and wide, who helped Charleston Animal Society achieve No Kill status for the community in 2013. But in this inaugural issue, we would also like to recognize a special group of individuals, our foster parents, without whom we never would have been able to become the first community to achieve No Kill in the Southeast. When our Animal Care Campus was built in 2008, it was designed to hold approximately 250 dogs, cats, and other animals. But at any one time, we have as many as 500-800 animals in our system! The only way to house and treat this volume is by relying on our foster families, who provide critical care until these animals are ready for adoption. Our foster parents are an extraordinary group of individuals, spread across Charleston County, who open their homes to animals in need. They give extraordinary amounts of their time, love and attention until these animals find their way to a permanent home. The foster parents who take care of our neonate kittens are on a round-the-clock bottle feeding schedule, frequently enlisting members of the family who take bottle shifts at various hours of the day and night. And often, our foster parents are our best “Adoption Ambassadors,” assisting in finding friends or relatives who would be great “Permanent Parents.” As we celebrate our foster parents, we hope you will consider joining their ranks! Thank you for reading Carolina Tails and let us know what you would like to see in future issues. With kind regards,

Elizabeth Bradham, President, Charleston Animal Society






TIP MER You S For r Pe ts

The Heat is On Even weather guys play it safe when it comes to their pets in the Lowcountry heat. WCBD-TV (NBC) morning meteorologist Josh Marthers says he limits how long his English Bulldog Buford is allowed to play outside. “Heat is one of the most stressful things on the body,” Marthers said, “and animals need you to protect them.”

• •

Out on the Water Patrolling Charleston waterways, it’s not unusual for U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Derek Beatty to see dogs wagging tails, enjoying the waves on boat decks. But Beatty says don’t think your dog is made of steel. “Any precautions you would take for a person would be a safe precaution for a pet: shade, fresh water, food and life jackets,” Beatty said. • •

• • •

Put a life jacket on your dog. (Check out the K-9 Float Coat Dog Life Jacket from Ruffwear; $89.99 at West Marine.) Make sure your best friend doesn’t hinder the safe operation of the boat. Ensure the control area is clear so your dog doesn’t accidentally hit the wheel or bump the accelerator, especially when around a crowd of boats. Bring plenty of fresh water. And bring some food in case your boating excursion is longer than planned. Provide a shady spot for your dog to rest and re-hydrate. The U.S. Coast Guard has seen boaters stranded in the marsh with their pets. “The pets actually prevented them from getting hypothermia,” Beatty said. “So, it’s not a bad thing to have a pet with you out on the water.”


Never leave cats, dogs or any animals in a parked car. If the temperature in your car is 90 degrees, within 30 minutes, the inside can heat up to 124 degrees. Provide your pets with plenty of fresh water, and if outside, make sure there is plenty of shade. Take your pup on walks in early morning or late evening. Limit exercise. Your dog will keep on going unless you make the call to stop and take a break. Will shaving your dog’s fur help? Experts say it depends. Shaving dogs with “double coats” won’t help because the thick fur actually cools his body in warm weather. But shaving “single coat” dogs could make a difference. Check with your vet before pulling out the clippers.

2013 Top Puppy Names FEMALE 1. Bella 2. Daisy 3. Lucy 4. Molly 5. Sadie

MALE 1. Max 2. Buddy 3. Charlie 4. Rocky 5. Cooper

2013 Top Kitten Names FEMALE 1. Bella 2. Lucy 3. Kitty 4. Luna 5. Chloe

MALE 1. Oliver 2. Max 3. Tiger 4. Charlie 5. Simba


If you have to evacuate during a hurricane, don’t leave your pets behind.

Barks and Booms Going to see the fireworks? Leave your pet at home. Experts say even pets that are generally not bothered by noises can find the combination of random flashing lights and the constant popping sound of fireworks alarming. The same is true with thunderstorms. Nildan M. Atkay, CPDT-KA, teaches dog training classes at Charleston Animal Society and offers these tips for pet owners: •

Don’t leave your pets outside during fireworks or thunderstorms. They may try to escape, hurting themselves in the process or running into traffic. Provide your pet with a safe place to ride out the storm – bathrooms, closets or other dark locations are favorites. Keep the doors and windows closed along with curtains to help block the light and noise. Try a product like the Thunder Shirt, a wrap-around garment for pets that helps ease tension and anxiety with gentle pressure to the body and nervous system (available locally at Dolittle’s; $39.95). Condition your pet to ignore fireworks and thunderstorms at an early age, before it becomes a problem.

Keeping Your Pets Safe in a Hurricane For the first time in years, hurricane experts are predicting a “quiet season” for the Atlantic Coast. But that doesn’t mean we can put our guard down. Meteorologists are still expecting three hurricanes to form in the Atlantic before November, which means we all need to get our emergency pet plan in place now. “No pet should ever be left behind. If it’s not safe for you; it’s not safe for them,” said Shawn Jones Sr., emergency management specialist with Charleston County. •

Make sure your pet is up to date on all shots and vaccinations, which will prevent the spread of disease should your pet get lost or need to be placed with friends or at a boarding facility. Make sure you have a current photo of your pet and yourself for identification purposes. Get your pet micro-chipped. The average cost is $45. A chip under your dog’s skin will keep an electronic record of his or her home address and contact information. Post a rescue sticker on your door or window with information about the types and number of pets in your household. Include the name and phone number of your veterinarian. As part of your family’s emergency kit, include items for your pet, including copies of medical records, water, extra pet food and medications.

Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so if he panics, he can’t escape. If you have to evacuate, do not leave your pets behind. Either take them with you or arrange for safe shelter. Choose a designated caregiver who can take care of your pet in case you aren’t able to do so (pets often aren’t allowed in emergency shelters). Include that person’s name and contact info with purse/wallet and in your emergency kit. Charleston County does not have an emergency shelter that will allow pets. lists pet friendly hotels around the Carolinas and Southeast.



Cracking Down: Fighting Animal Cruelty P STOimal



An elty Cru

Charlie Brown shortly after his arrival at Charleston Animal Society.


s Jane Devilbiss and her two young daughters watch Charlie Brown run around their James Island backyard — it’s hard to imagine what he’s lived through in the past 12 months. The playful brown and white hound was found barely alive near Awendaw exactly one year ago. He’d been shot in the neck and left to die. Wounded, underweight and losing hair, Charlie Brown was brought to Charleston Animal Society where the veterinarian team quickly took action to save his life. He was placed with foster parent Farrah Hoffmire, who spent weeks coating him in coconut oil and draping him in a special raincoat. The treatment worked and within two months, Charlie Brown was ready for adoption by Devilbiss and her family. As his new mom, Devilbiss is shocked to hear how rampant animal cruelty is right here in our own backyard. “He is so beautiful, I can’t believe someone would treat a family member like that,” Devilbiss said, “Thankfully, he’s bounced back pretty quickly.”

Jane Devilbiss and family from James Island adopted Charlie Brown after he was shot.

Fighting cruelty cases Charlie Brown’s case underscored how urgent it was for Charleston Animal Society to do more to find and prosecute people responsible for animal cruelty. One month later, Aldwin Roman was brought in to become the director of Anti-Cruelty and Outreach. “Unfortunately, we see all sorts of horrible situations. Now we want people to know that we are going after these cases, harder than ever, to see that they’re prosecuted,” Roman said. “People are more willing to report animal cruelty these days,” said Charleston County Animal Control Supervisor Sgt. David Willis, “before, they may have ignored it, but now they’re like, ‘no, that’s not right.’” Roman, one of only two certified animal cruelty investigators in South Carolina, works closely with local animal control officers, primarily Charleston County and the cities of Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and North Charleston. He handles much of the research, calling people who have reported cruelty situations to determine



if the case warrants a visit from an animal control officer. One tip came on Facebook. A concerned animal lover sent a Facebook message to Charleston Animal Society after seeing a disturbing video that showed a teenager throwing cats as high as telephone wires. Shockingly, he was tossing them across streets and yards in Mt. Pleasant. Roman investigated and then took the video and his findings to police. It paid off five months later with the 18-year-old convicted of animal mistreatment. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, which was waived if the teen served 50 hours of community service. In another case, just a few months later, an MUSC doctor contacted Charleston Animal Society during this winter’s deep freeze, worried about a dog he saw abandoned across the road from where he lived. In sub-zero temperatures, Roman ventured out to that country road on Wadmalaw Island and spotted Queen hovering under the house in fear. Combining efforts with Charleston County Animal Control, Queen was rescued and is now living safely in a new warm home after being adopted.

(top) Anti-cruelty laws apply to all cats—companion, abandoned, lost, and feral. (right) A repeat offender of animal cruelty could face 2 years in jail and a $2000 fine.

But Roman’s work didn’t stop there. The owners who’d abandoned Queen were tracked down, charged and convicted of animal abandonment, paying a $500 fine or 30 days in jail. Roman says tips from the public are crucial to make Charleston a safe place for all animals. “Half of my job is outreach. It’s our goal to intervene in a situation before it escalates to a full-blown cruelty case,” Roman said.

High-profile cases of neglect generate headlines, but, in fact, many cases go undiscovered and unreported. 10 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2014

“Federal law classifies animals as property, but that doesn’t mean they can be treated cruelly. And that’s why we’re here to protect them.” – Aldwin Roman

(left) After being abandoned in frigid temperatures, Queen is now in a new loving home. (middle left) As director of anti-cruelty and outreach, Aldwin Roman is fighting animal abuse.

National reputation Charleston Animal Society’s reputation fighting animal cruelty hasn’t gone unnoticed at the national level. The ASPCA routinely contacts Charleston Animal Society to assist with cruelty cases around the country. Last year, Roman led a Charleston Animal Society team to help in the biggest dog fighting bust ever seen in the Southeast. The dog ring involved 400 dogs across Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. Twelve of the animals were brought to Charleston for rehabilitation and adoption. Another group from Charleston Animal Society helped take down a cock fighting ring in New York earlier this year, rescuing 5,000 birds.

S.C. CRUELTY LAW JUST GOT TOUGHER: With a stroke of her pen on June 6, 2014, Gov. Nikki Haley made South Carolina’s animal cruelty law tougher than ever. Penalties, including fines and jail time, are stiffer than before, and protections have been put in place for animals who are caught in the middle of domestic violence situations. Here are changes under the new law:

• Decision of punishment in cruelty cases is left up to a judge, while giving that judge greater authority to maximize the fine or time in prison. • Streamlines the penalty process for repeat offenders, with repeat offenders facing more serious penalties. • Increases maximum penalties: For first-time offenders from 60 days in jail and a $500 fine to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.

For second-time offenders from 90 days in jail and an $800 fine to 2 years in jail and a $2000 fine.

“This is great news for animal lovers or anyone who cares about justice,” says Joe Elmore, chief executive officer for Charleston Animal Society, “The South Carolina Animal Legislative Coalition, which Charleston Animal Society co-founded along with organizations in Columbia, worked hard to see measured anti-cruelty legislation signed into law.”

“Federal law classifies animals as property, but that doesn’t mean they can be treated cruelly. And that’s why we’re here to protect them,” Roman said. As for Charlie Brown, he seems content and at peace with his new family, despite the fact the person who shot and abandoned him was never apprehended. “We are so happy we adopted Charlie Brown,” Devilbiss said, “he has given us more than we could ever imagine.”

State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter and state Sen. Danny Verdin are the lawmakers who pushed the new law through the Statehouse.



TOM O’ROURKE UNDERSTANDS PETS are part of the family. So that means including those four-legged family members in the planning of Charleston County parks and park events. “For me, it’s not always about the pet, it’s about the owner of the pet. In our industry we serve people, we don’t serve dirt or parks. Pets are members of people’s family,” said O’Rourke, Executive Director of the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission. “If we’re going to be a family friendly park, we have to include all members of the family and that includes the pets.” Leashed pets are welcome throughout the parks, including on the trails and paths. In 2013, more than 147,700 dogs came through the gates at Wannamaker, Palmetto Islands and James Island County Parks, all of which have off-leash dog parks. The only places dogs are prohibited are the beach parks and Caw Caw Nature & History Interpretive Center and that’s just because of the sensitive wildlife and nesting areas in those spots. As the park system continues to acquire more land and develop more parks, designated dog spaces are certain to be part of the plans, O’Rourke said. Charleston County Parks also has greatly expanded its pet-themed events, including pet-friendly happy hours, dog days at one of the water parks and a two-day Pet Fest featuring all things animals. Over the summer, people and their pooches are welcome at Yappy Hour, a happy hour-style event with live music and drinks at James Island County Park. On the other side of town at Palmetto Islands County Park in Mt. Pleasant is Pups, Yups 12 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2014

& Food Trucks, a similar event with music, drinks and food truck fare. The dog park at James Island may be more of an attraction for dog owners than even for the dogs themselves. It’s a much more social park, O’Rourke said. “We hear stories of people finding their boyfriends or girlfriends there. A lot of single people go there after work with their dog.” Just after Labor Day, the pools at Whirlin’ Waters are open to dogs for the annual Dog Day Afternoon, welcoming pups of all shapes and sizes who want a final summertime swim. The last two years the event has grown so much, O’Rourke said they had to separate areas for small dogs and large dogs. “That event is overwhelmingly popular,” he said. While all the events are great and bring more people out into the parks, O’Rourke said it’s really about giving people a place to go with their animals. He sees the number of local apartment rentals climbing, for example, and knows those pet owners need a place to take their pets. And O’Rourke knows first-hand the importance of these pet-friendly spaces. He and his wife take their two small dogs -- a Chihuahua and a mix breed -- to the dogs parks often. “Dogs and pets are a part of families, and we serve families and as an extension of that we’ll always make (pets) a part of what we do. At the end of the day citizens own this land and it’s what they want.”

photo: Charleston County Parks

photo: Charleston County Parks

County Park system knows pets are family

photo: Charleston County Parks


photo: Charleston County Parks


photo: Charleston County Parks


Charleston County Parks received the first ever Charleston Animal Society Community Ambassador Award for its efforts in making the lives of families, including their pets, better.


July 10 with Calhoun’s Calling Aug. 7 with Dreamland Band Sept. 18 with Big John Belly Oct. 16 with Whiskey Diablo Events run until 8pm or sunset.




July 24 with food from Korki’s Kafe and band The Bill Show Aug. 21 with food from Refueler's Mobile Cafe and band Katina Rose Sept. 25 with food from Moose’s Mobile BBQ and band Soul Fish Duo Oct. 23 with food from Little Star of the Caribbean and band Dallas Baker & His Bluegrass Friends Events run until 8pm or sunset.


Sept. 7 Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark in North Charleston

For information on these events or other Charleston County Park services, visit




Function meets style in cat lovers’ homes H

ow do you bring your humble abode up to the expectations of the mighty king or queen we call “Cat?” Carolina Tails found all sorts of creative solutions for cat lovers. Let’s begin in Mt. Pleasant where Diane Straney discloses that her Zen-like home in the Snee Farm neighborhood is “completely architecturally designed for cats.” Just start with the Alice in Wonderland door that goes to an airlock, also known as a fancy passage from one environment to another. In this case, it will lead Straney’s cats from her living room to an old greenhouse. An airlock? For cats?! And then there is a tunnel into a bridge that goes down a tower and outside to a cat pen, leading to another cat house. And yes, the cat house uses air conditioning and heat, depending on the season. Straney will tell you, “If you are a true animal lover, then there is not much in your house. It is peaceful and serene and full of cats.” As founder of the Feline Freedom Coalition (, Straney has been instrumental in saving thousands of Charleston County’s stray and dispossessed felines. Straney says remember to plan one area of your home for a scratching post. She has a scratching post perch that reaches up to the ceiling and overlooks a pristine pool outside. And as for flooring? She opted to have all wooden floors, yet for those who wish to have rugs, she praises Sisal natural rugs, which can be washed and bleached. But Straney’s most enthusiastic endorsement is saved for a nifty contraption that flushes like a toilet. “The Cat Genie is the bomb,” Straney says, adding that the Cat Genie is the most important thing to have when living with cats.


photo: Helen Ravenel Hammond


Diane Straney’s Mt. Pleasant home is completely architecturally designed for cats with tunnels, a cat house and a ceilinghigh scratching post.

Creative spaces On the other end of the spectrum, Melissa Sims had to get creative with her 900-square-foot apartment. Because her apartment had a built-in desk area, she created a litter box nook for her cat Gracie, using a tension rod and curtains, “Gracie loves the privacy, and I love that it’s out of the way,” she said. When it comes to small living spaces, Dolittle’s pet store owner Ric Sommons recommends the Cat Crib, a cat hammock that fits under any chair or end table. The item gives the cat a sense of safety while also eliminating clutter in the home. One of the hottest new ideas for cat decor are “Catios.” Patios for cats. Elena Hansen-Roberts has a cat door leading out to a screened patio, which has become her cats’ own space with litter boxes and a few cat trees. Other owners include ramps, stones for perching — even koi ponds!

Former Charleston resident Jeanne Bragdon was innovative in accommodating her rescue kitties, Tufty and Keerty, into her home. Under the stairs to her basement, she made a “litter box closet” where the door is left open just enough for the cat to get in. “It is out of sight and provides a lot of space and privacy for the cat which cats like,” she explained. She also uses an underthe-bed storage container on wheels for the litter box that works well for the cat and feline-caretaker. Bragdon said her cat has plenty of places to hang out. For example, put drawers under the bed or create makeshift cat bed in the opened bottom drawer of a dresser. “They all seem to love to crawl into places that feel secure,” she said. Cat-friendly fabrics When it comes to fabrics, Randolph Cooper of Southeastern Galleries said a trend in pro-pet households is to use Sunbrella fabrics. “Sunbrella fabric is a variation of outdoor fabric that will literally wick away cat urine,” Cooper explained. “Don’t believe me? Go to the international furniture market at High Point, N.C., and you will see the product advertised in a tub of bleach where it will remain unharmed.” For a recent project, Cooper was asked to figure out a creative solution for a client’s litter box. He had a skirt made for the pedestal sink in the client’s downstairs powder room. He paired that with a Ralph Lauren fragrance diffuser on the lip of the sink — and voila! Cat chic. “The cat box should always be out of sight and never give off a noticeable odor,” he said, adding that the cat owner should leave a

(top left) One of Diane Straney’s cats showing off her stylish digs. (top right) Creative shelving can add design to your walls and a comfy place for cat naps. (left) This outdoor catio is a great example of a fun feline environment that promotes exercise and combats complacency.

small gap in the upholstery under the sink so the cat feels comfortable with his new latrine. A final tip Cooper shares is the misconception that leather is not animal friendly. According to Cooper, high-quality leather is more durable than most fabrics and is easy to clean, as is ultrasuede. Some designer enthusiasts swear by Crypton, a synthetic fabric that’s resistant to smells, stains, bacteria and muddy paws. Whatever your tastes, there are many ways to incorporate your feline into your home without any hissy fits from the cat….or the owner. And this harmony is the “cat’s meow.”

Helen Ravenel Hammond is a writer based in Charleston. She is a self-proclaimed “cat fanatic” and the proud momma of human child, Elizabeth, and two Tuxedo kitties, Bootsie and Bella.



DECORATE with Flair...

Cat Genie automatically washes, cleans and dries its washable granules, keeping cat owners from having to touch, breathe or buy cat litter. Prices starts at $260 at

The Cat Crib is a cat hammock that fits under any chair or end table. Designed to eliminate clutter in the home, the Cat Crib is sold at Dolittle’s for $31.95. The 24-inch Sisal Scratching Post is covered in 100% woven sisal and will not shred, plus it has a non-skid bottom. The post sells for $39 at

Sisal Rugs: A must have for cat lovers because they resist clawing and are easily cleaned. Pricing varies by size of rug at

Sunbrella Fabric: Not only do they look great, they are strong, built-to-last and unbelievably resistant to troublesome stains, moisture, odor and bacteria.

Wave Perch Cat Shelf: The perfect solution for small spaces, the wave perch easily mounts to the wall and provides a comfy lookout and lounge for your kitty. $99 at

MEET OUR CELEBRITY ADVOCATE “Help keep Charleston County the first No Kill Community in the Southeast. I’m thrilled to support Charleston Animal Society in this effort.” – DAVE NAVARRO Guitarist/Singer for Jane's Addiction & Red Hot Chili Peppers


SAND & SURF:: Beach Rules

Isle of Palms Dogs are allowed off leash on the beach between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. April 1 to Sept 14 and then 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sept. 15 to March 31. The rest of the time, dogs must be on a leash (even in the water) and pet owners should clean up after their dogs. All dogs belonging to Isle of Palms residents must have a current City of Isle of Palms dog license; visitors are not required to have a license for their dog. IOP does have a dog park behind the Recreation Department at 24 Twenty-Eighth Ave. Folly Beach Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 1 to Sept. 30. At all other times, dogs must be leashed and under control. Owners should clean up any pet waste and remove it from the beach. Kiawah Island Dogs must be on leash on all of Kiawah Island year round. There are two off-leash dog areas but dogs must be under voice

photo: Sit, Stay, Smile Pet Photography

Just like people, dogs like frolicking in the ocean waves, but before you head to one of Charleston’s beaches, learn the rules, or you could go home with more than sandy paws. Area beach patrols will fine you up to $1,040 for not following the letter of the law.

command: the first area extends from Beachwalker County Park for 1,000 yards to the west (toward Captain Sam's inlet) and the second area is located between the Beach Club and the Ocean Course pedestrian beach access. Dogs may be off leash from Dec. 1 to March 15 on the central portion of the beach between Beachwalker County Park and the Beach Club.

BE COOL AT THE BEACH • For your dog’s health, limit the amount of time he or she is on the beach. •

Pick up after your dog. Poop is not only gross, it can contaminate the ocean!

Alligators are common on Kiawah Island so for your pet’s safety, don’t let it swim in ponds or play near the edge of the ponds.

Take fresh water with you to hydrate your dog. Salt water isn’t safe for dogs.

Sullivan’s Island All dogs on the island, including residents, day visitors and vacation renters, must have a town-issued dog permit. Permits are $35 per dog ($25 for residents) and are issued at Town Hall, 1610 Middle St. Owners should have proof of rabies vaccine.

Don’t leave your dog in the car. Within a matter of minutes, the car temperature soars and your pet is in grave danger.

Dogs are allowed off-leash on the beach 510 a.m. May 1 to Sept. 30 and from 5 a.m. to noon Oct. 1 to April 30. From May 1 to Sept. 30, no dogs are allowed on the beach between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., but dogs are allowed on the beach from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. while leashed. Pet waste bags are also available near the entrance of each beach access path.

photo: Sit, Stay, Smile Pet Photography



RESCUE:: Family Addition



FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, SUSAN and Ned Payne had been dog owners. Their two Miniature Schnauzers had each lived for 16 years. When the second one passed away, Susan Payne missed having a pet. But the couple’s lifestyle just wasn’t conducive to a dog at the time. They were traveling and going back and forth to their West Virginia home from their house on Tradd Street in downtown Charleston. Susan Payne took a liking to one of her daughter’s cats and recently started thinking about adopting a cat. With her husband in his late 70s and she almost 70, Payne said the two didn’t want the added responsibility of walking a dog once or twice a day. A cat would better suit their lifestyle. “She fit right in and took over.” - Susan Payne

In February, Payne headed to Petco just to look at the cats available for adoption from Charleston Animal Society. “There was this beautiful kitty,” Payne said. “I fell in love with her and took her home. She just laid there and looked at me with those enormous green eyes like she was looking straight into my soul. “This is what we need,” Payne thought as she looked at the cat. So 3-year-old Sassy, an American shorthair with a black coat and sprinkles of white on her face and paws, went home with Payne. When her husband arrived home, Payne greeted him with, “Honey, we have a cat.” For all their years as dog people, the Paynes have easily taken to Sassy. “She’s the perfect cat,” Payne said. “She fit right in and took over.”




ANSWERS:: Understand Your Pet



What kind of food should I be feeding my dog? There are so many choices on the store shelves it can be overwhelming. Marianne K., Johns Island It’s best to choose a food that’s high quality, appropriate for your pet’s life stage (food labeled “for all life stages” is puppy/kitten food) and is free of dyes. Feed the best food you can afford and be consistent; switching foods frequently can cause an upset stomach. When in doubt, check with your veterinarian. LUCY FULLER, DVM Director of Public Health and Spay/Neuter Initiatives

A group of cats has decided to set up shop on my property. I don’t want them there, so what can I do? Mike S., North Charleston Trap-Vaccinate-Alter-Return (TVAR) is the most effective method to reduce the feral or community cat population over time. Removing a cat from a community to be euthanized means more cats will move in to consume those same resources. Community cats are vaccinated against rabies, spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, ear-tipped and returned to the environment in which they were finding food and shelter. When returned, the vacuum-effect of more cats moving in is prevented. SARAH BOYD, DVM

(large photo) Sarah Boyd, DVM, comforting one of her many patients after surgery. (top right photo) Lucy Fuller, DVM, getting one of the felines ready for adoption. (bottom right photo) Margaret Morris, DVM, administering vaccines crucial to this animal’s health.

VETS FROM THE CHARLESTON ANIMAL Society are ready to answer your pet questions. No question is too unusual, odd or funny. So, feel free to Ask the Vet about your pets’ behavior, food or crazy habits. Email your veterinarian questions to Always remember that no advice will ever take the place of taking your animal to your family veterinarian for continuing care. 20 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2014

Director of Shelter Health and Wellness UC Davis - ASPCA Shelter Medicine Fellow

Help! Why is my cat not using the litter box and urinating all over my house? Susan F., Mt. Pleasant This could be a sign of behavioral or medical issues that, if caught early and treated, can improve your cat’s life. Always have one litter box for each of your cats plus one extra. Place the litter boxes in different locations in your household. MARGARET MORRIS, DVM Associate Director of Public Health

FOSTER: Save A Life



EVER THINK YOU MAY WANT A PET, but just aren’t sure? Why not try fostering? Almost every animal shelter uses some sort of foster system that helps save animals in several ways: • Animals learn socialization skills.

Charleston Animal Society Foster Family Network

• Animals are more comfortable in a “home” than a “shelter setting.” • Foster families help free up room in the shelter so other animals can be saved. Charleston Animal Society’s 500-member foster family network stretches from Lake Moultrie to Edisto Island on the Atlantic. “Many people can’t believe that we have more animals outside the shelter than inside the shelter,” said Charleston County Animal Society Chief Executive Officer Joe Elmore. And you won’t believe the impact one foster family can have. The Heins family in Mount Pleasant has saved more than 100 kittens over the past two years that they have been fostering. “We love it. It’s like having a kitten all the time,” said Donna Heins. Donna, along with her two sons, Jonah and Evan, enjoy naming the cats based on their unique personalities. They thought the hardest part of fostering would be letting the kittens go, “But we reminded ourselves that if we keep on fostering, we can save even more lives,” said Jonah. Becoming a foster family is usually a simple process at most animal shelters. Typically, you will fill out an application that asks what kind of animal you would like to foster, whether you currently have any pets and whether you have a fenced-in yard or not. “No answers will necessarily 22 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2014

disqualify you, but they will help guide us to finding you a foster pet that is a good fit for your family,” said Charleston Animal Society Rescue and Foster Coordinator Jodi Osborne. The average length of stay in a foster home for a pet is 2-6 weeks. People with fostering experience can also take on more challenging cases such as premature kittens, or injured and sick animals. Dogs, cats, puppies and kittens all need fosters… all they need is you.

Map showing Charleston Animal Society Foster Network stretching from Lake Moultrie to Edisto Beach. The Heins family of Mt. Pleasant fostering kittens. (l-r) Jonah, Evan and Donna.







Three Things My Senior Dog Has Taught Me About Aging Gracefully BY AMBER CARLTON


o apparently I’m middle-aged. Well, that’s what everyone tells me anyway — friends, family, the media, the 20-year-old checkout boy in the supermarket who looks right through me rather than at me. Every time I’m reminded of my middle-agedness, I’m surprised. Because here’s the thing: I don’t feel middle-aged. But I guess I am. With that realization comes another one: I’m not getting any younger. In fact, it seems that I’m Just as getting older at an alarming pace. I’ve always with my own aging, vowed to be one of those people who age gracefully, I’m always who embrace the passing of the years. Yet I find surprised myself staring disconcertedly into the mirror at that my dog the new wrinkle on my face or frantically making Ranger is a hair appointment because my grays refuse to a senior. stay covered. And those things in and of themselves tick me off because I don’t want to be so damn - A. Carlton worried about getting older Just as with my own aging, I’m always surprised that my dog Ranger is a senior. But according to all the charts I’ve looked at (and I’ve looked at a LOT hoping to find one that tells me otherwise), when a dog reaches the age of 10, he’s considered elderly. Little white hairs have taken over Ranger’s head, like mine. Unlike me, he doesn’t seem to worry. “Who cares? It is what it is,” he seems to say with the doggie equivalent of a shrug. As I’ve paid more attention to how Ranger has handled getting older, I realize that I’ve got a remarkable guide to help me navigate this tangled and complicated path. So here are a few of Ranger’s lessons on aging: 24 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2014

1. Stop to smell (and pee on) the flowers I think part of the reason that life seems to go by so fast is that we’re always worried about what we’re going to do 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 months from now. I’ve got to put dinner on at 5. I’ve got to call back that client on Wednesday. I’ve got to plan our vacation for July. It’s always the next thing and the next thing and the next. We’re so busy looking forward that we forget to be here now. When Ranger was younger, he was the same way on our walks. He strained ahead on the leash, excited to see what was around the next corner. In the last couple of years, he’s slowed down considerably. Our walks take almost twice the time they used to. He takes so long reading pee-mail at each bush that I can almost hear him say in an old man voice, “Welp, whaddaya know? Rover Johnson, that young whippersnapper down the street, done went off and got Fluffy Rogers pregnant. I tell ya ... kids these days.” I used to get so annoyed by this. “Come on, Ranger,” I’d say with a tug at the leash. “I’ve got things to do.” Then one afternoon, as Ranger carefully read the latest pee-mail, I just ... stopped. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I felt the sun on my face, felt the breeze and realized with some surprise that it was a really, really beautiful day and I had been missing it. Since that day, I have made every effort, when I find myself rushing along in life, to push the pause button and be in the moment before I go on to the next thing. Ranger has taught me that the way to slow the passing of time is to acknowledge and appreciate the little moments along the way.

2. Be open to new experiences “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” — George Bernard Shaw It never fails to amaze me how happy Ranger is when we go someplace new. Whether it’s a camping trip or just a different route on our walk, a huge smile breaks out on his face and there’s an extra spring in his step. The new surroundings seem to invigorate him and bring out his inner puppy. Unlike on our regular walks, he pulls ahead, excitedly investigating every unfamiliar nook and cranny, seeming to rejoice in the novelty of the moment. As I’ve gotten older, I find myself putting off or turning down new experiences. I patronize the same four restaurants over and over. Or I go to a particular campground because we’ve been there before and know what to expect. Or I watch a re-run on TV for the 15th time because it’s easier than getting invested in a whole new show. And this bugs me. A lot. So I’m determined from now on to take my cues from Ranger. He’s shown me that being open to the unexpected can help keep one young. So, okay, I’ll download that app that everyone’s been talking about. And maybe I’ll finally learn a different language. Or, heck, I might really live on the edge and go to a restaurant I know nothing about! Quite the risk-taker, aren’t I?

Ranger has taught me that the way to slow the passing of time is to acknowledge and appreciate the little moments along the way.

3. But sometimes it’s okay to be set in your ways I know what you’re thinking. “Seriously? How can you be open to new experiences and set in your ways?” Scoff not! It can be done and Ranger is proof. While he loves to go different places and try out-of-theordinary things, he’s always just as happy to get back home. Coming back from a camping trip, for example, he makes a foray into our backyard, checking the perimeter and ensuring everything is secure, just like he’s done for the past nine years. He waits patiently on “his” rug while I prepare his dinner, just like he’s done for the past nine years. And then he stretches out on our bed and we cover him up with a blanket, just like we’ve done for the past nine years. In his own doggie way, I know he’s saying, “Camping is fun. But there’s no place like home.” I said that it bothers me that I am not as open to new experiences as I once was. And it does. At the same time, though, I understand that there’s a comfort in routines, in the things we know and love. It’s nice to go to that familiar restaurant and order that dish you know you like. The trick is to find a balance between the two, something Ranger does effortlessly and beautifully, and something that I’m working to achieve. I do hope with all my heart that I’m able to age gracefully. I hope that one of these days I’ll look in the mirror and see the lines on my face as evidence of a life well-lived. I hope I’ll be able to take the old with the new, and never stop learning. And I hope that by enjoying and appreciating the second half of my life, I’ll have no regrets when I get to the end of it. If I’m able to do all those things, I’ll have my wise, wonderful, precious dog to thank for it.

Amber Carlton is a pet industry marketing copywriter and content specialist, and the owner of She also acts as interpreter and typist for her dog’s musings at Mayzie’s Dog Blog ( Amber shares life with her husband, two dogs and two cats (all rescues except for the husband). This article originally appeared on



MEET OUR CELEBRITY ADVOCATE “Charleston Animal Society is doing such an amazing job of saving the lives of healthy and treatable animals. I applaud their efforts to see No Kill Charleston 2015 become a reality.” – MARTHA STEWART Businesswoman, writer and television personality


STUDY: Cat Owners



Cat Owners Smarter Than Dog Owners ... Say What? A recent study by Carroll University in Wisconsin found cat owners scored higher on an intelligence test than dog owners and are more sensitive too. It also found dog lovers tend to be more energetic, outgoing and rule-abiding (score one for the dog owners)! Dog owners also tend to be better at breaking rules (no comment).



RESCUE:: Adopt, Don’t Buy!



Whether you’re looking for a cat, kitten, dog or puppy, make Charleston Animal Society your first stop. View the current animals available for adoption online at Or, better yet, come visit us at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston. My name is April. I’m an orange Tabby and love my long hair. I’m told my personality is very sweet. I’m blushing.

Hi, I’m Sally, I’m almost two and am extremely curious. I also love to play. By the way, I’m a Great Dane mix.

Are you a hiker? My name is Savannah and I love to walk or run on a trail, sniffing the entire way. I am three and sweet as can be. Hello there. My name is Salem. As you can tell I’m a male Siamese mix. The one thing we have to get straight, is that I will need your undivided attention-- but I do love to cuddle. My name is River and while I’m a little bit shy at first, I do have these hilarious bursts of energy that make people laugh.

Hello, I’m a good southern girl named Faith. I’m very well mannered, a staffie mix, and as I’m often told, quite “gorgeous.”


BUG OFF! How to Keep Pests at Bay Summer is peak season for parasites, so it’s time to be vigilant about your pet’s pest-prevention program. According to the national database ranking by state, South Carolina ranks No. 2 with the most cases of seasonal fleas and No. 5 in heartworm cases in dogs. For those looking for natural remedies consider adding a few drops of Neem oil to Fido or Feefee’s shampoo. Topical and oral solution products should can be discussed with your veterinarian. Treating your backyard regularly with a pest control company such as Mosquito Squad helps cut down on mosquitoes and other pesky creatures.



TIME TO PLAY! Kids are some of the best animal advocates so we’ve devoted this space to young pet lovers.

THE KEYS TO PET CARE Whether they have feathers, fur or fins, all pets need some of the same things: food, water and room to move around. They need a safe place to live and people to take care of them. The names of a dozen kinds of pets are hidden in this puzzle. Circle each one (they may be written up and down, sideways, backward or diagonally).














guinea pig




goldfish cat dog rabbit

Sixteen letters are left over in the puzzle. They spell part of a message. Write the uncircled letters in the order they appear. (Go from left to right, top to bottom.) Every pet needs __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __. Source: National Association for Humane and Environmental Education Answer: love and attention 30 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2014

PET PLAY Just like kids love to play with their toys, dogs need toys to keep them busy and entertained. Over the summer, try making one of these toys for your dog. At the same time, make a few extras and donate them to the Charleston Animal Society so the dogs have plenty to do while they’re waiting for their forever home.


1. Remove the label and plastic cap from a small, empty plastic bottle. 2. Thoroughly rinse any non-water fluids out of bottles. Some human grade sweeteners are poisonous to dogs.

3. Insert the bottle into a long athletic sock or roll it in a piece of fabric and tie off the ends.

4. Tie in a large dog bone for an extra treat.

ANIMAL ARTISTS Want to see your animal artwork in a future issue of Carolina Tails? Send us your picture! EMAIL TO:

PENCIL DRAWINGS by Laurel Campagna, Mt. Pleasant, S.C., 14. Bella was rescued from the Jasper Animal Rescue Mission in December 2010. Rachel was rescued from the City of Columbia Animal Shelter in November 2004.



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